Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
2013 Delaware turkey season to open April 13
DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife announces check stations
DOVER (April 5, 2013) – The 2013 Delaware spring turkey hunting season opens Saturday, April 13, and runs through Saturday, May 11, the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife announced today. Hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise until 1 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Hunters are reminded that all birds taken must be checked at an authorized turkey check station by 2:30 p.m. on the day of the hunt.
Delaware hunters are reminded that they must have successfully completed a mandatory one-day turkey hunter education class before they can legally hunt wild turkeys in Delaware. Turkey hunters also are required to carry their Hunter Education Card certifying successful completion of the course. Hunting on public lands is by preseason lottery permit only. Hunters must carry their public lands permit while hunting and may only hunt the designated area and season segment/dates specified in the permit.
Hunter Education Coordinator Mark Ostroski offered some tips for a safe and successful hunt. “A successful turkey hunt depends on many factors including skill, careful preparation and attention to safety details. Hunters should be sure to pattern their gun, because knowing where and how your gun shoots can make all the difference between failure and success at bagging that big gobbler,” he said.
Ostroski added that hunters also should remember these important safety practices:
- Take time to identify your target and what lies beyond;
- Avoid wearing clothing that includes the colors red, blue, black and white;
- Never stalk a wild turkey; and
- Do not imitate the male gobbling call trying to attract another gobbler.
The wild turkey remains one of Delaware’s top restoration successes after being on the verge of extinction by the early 20th century. In the early 1980s, the Division of Fish and Wildlife partnered with the Delaware chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation to reestablish a wild turkey population in the state. By 1991, the population had grown large enough to permit opening a wild turkey hunting season, and the big birds continue to thrive and multiply.
Last year’s turkey season was marked by several new achievements, including a record harvest of 615 birds. “For the first time we had a turkey harvested north of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, which is a good indicator of how abundant and widespread our turkey population has become,” said Wildlife Biologist Matt DiBona. It was also the first year a bird was harvested by a crossbow, which was made a legal method of harvest just prior to last year’s season.
Authorized turkey check stations for 2013 will be available at the following locations:
New Castle County
Ommelanden Hunter Education Center
Route 9, River Road, just north of Federal Lane, New Castle
Woodland Beach Wildlife Check Station
Route 9, 4876 Hay Point Landing Road, just north of intersection with Route 6
Little Creek Wildlife Area Check Station
Route 9, Bayside Drive just south of the town of Little Creek
3544 Williamsville Road, at intersection of Deep Grass Lane, Houston
Miller’s Butcher Shop
577 Morgan’s Choice Road, Wyoming
LP Sports Center
1 East Street, Spartan Plaza, Harrington
9641 Tharp Road, Seaford
Bucks & Ducks Sports Center/Messick Supply
14882 Hardscrabble Road, Seaford
Hook’em & Cook’em
3 York Beach Mall, Route 1, South Bethany Beach
Whitetail Taxidermy and Outdoor Supplies
32369 Long Neck Road, Suite 15, Millsboro
30618 Millsboro Highway, Millsboro
27147 Seaford Road, Seaford
Check station hours may vary, so hunters are advised to call the station where they are likely to check a bird to confirm the hours of operation. Hunters who want to have their bird scored and entered into the National Wild Turkey Federation records are reminded to have their bird’s live weight recorded on a certified scale. If the check station does not have a certified scale, hunters will have to go to another shop to have the turkey re-weighed.
For more information, please call Matt DiBona, Wildlife Section, at 302-735-3600, or visit www.fw.delaware.gov.
Vol. 43, No. 130